UTV Software Communications Ltd, India’s first integrated media and entertainment company, is likely to invest Rs 100-250 crore each in the two ‘broad-based’ channels it is planning to launch this financial year.
“We are not planning to get into a specific niche play…we are not really interested in the English narrow niches. It should be broad-based and the two channels we intend to launch will be of entertainment genre,” M K Anand, chief executive officer (broadcast), UTV, told Business Standard.
The size of each channel would be in the range of Rs 100 crore to Rs 250 crore, he said, adding the company was not looking at the Rs 30-40-crore kind of bouquets.
“Rs 100-crore to Rs 250-crore-revenue-per-year channels typically would require similar kind of investments. We have always been quite prudent when we launch channels and have a specifically-set ‘secret formula’. We try to cut down on the number of quarters instead of looking at long gestation. We always try to go for a sharp increase in the first three quarters itself and get the channel to an operationally break-even stage in the first six quarters,” Anand said.
The broadcast division contributed 35-40 per cent to UTV’s revenue of Rs 1,000 crore in 2010-11. The company is also launching UTV Action in vernacular languages. It expected the broadcast division’s contribution to rise to 50 per cent in two years with these initiatives, he said.
Announcing the launch of UTV Action in Telugu today, Anand said the company was looking at the Tamil version sometime this financial year.
“It’s about only one and a half years that we launched Action Hindi, which is getting 45-50 minutes per view per week, substantially high than any other movie channel in India. We will launch the Action channel in languages like Malayalam and Bengali sometime later, as we need to first make the existing ones financially feasible. We want to take one step at a time,” he said.
When asked about the movie library that the company had for its Action channel, Anand said they had around 250 Hollywood titles.
“One can actually launch a channel with a library of 180 movies. But a 250-300-title library will be a good defensive position to play in this market. We will be adding more titles … that’s an ongoing process,” he said.